The cost of repairing, replacing and rehabilitating deteriorated highway bridges in North America and across the world is becoming a major concern. The dire need to upgrade the structural capacity of existing bridges and aging infrastructure with modern and advanced building materials has been growing in popularity over the years.
Corrosion of reinforcement in concrete structures is a serious diffused deterioration phenomena. Chloride attacking the carbonation of the concrete exterior is what leads to rebar corrosion and heavy maintenance requirements.
Importance of concrete in modern life
Concrete infrastructure is an inseparable part of modern civilization. It provides support for housing, highway infrastructure, medical centers, hospitals, buildings and roadways. So far as the growth and survival of human societies are concerned, concrete is an essential component. As a foundation and building block of long lasting and reliable infrastructure, concrete has remarkable performance across social, economic, and environmental aspects.
It would become difficult to provide economical, low maintenance, and efficient infrastructure to service large cities. On top of that, concrete is robust, affordable, and abundantly available. Concrete can be formed into any shape to develop creative and innovative structures. While infrastructure is imperative to develop modern societies, concrete is the best building material from which sustainable infrastructure is built. Undoubtedly, concrete is the ideal choice to build sustainable cities.
Common concrete problems
Concrete is a relatively convenient material to manage. However, the construction industry has been dealing with a number of structural issues associated with concrete and concrete reinforcement. The rapid deterioration of concrete infrastructures in Canada and across North America is making it difficult for the government to maintain or upgrade existing structures as it cost billions of dollars every year. Cracking, disintegration, spalling, discoloration, scaling, curling, and crazing are some of the common concrete problems.
Why do concrete structures such as bridges and buildings fail or become structurally deficient? Deterioration of public structures is a huge challenge for structure owners. The construction industry has been struggling to effectively address the corrosion of reinforcement which is the biggest reason why concrete deteriorates. When traditional reinforcement material such as steel corrodes, the process ultimately leads to concrete problems.
Solution: GFRP reinforcement
The construction industry has developed many techniques and materials to encounter steel corrosion. Unfortunately, none of the techniques were effective enough to address the problem. These short term solutions only slow down the corrosion process. This is where GFRP concrete reinforcement offers the civil engineering community an innovative and reliable way to effectively encounter steel corrosion.
Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) is inherently corrosion-resistant and lightweight material which offers many advantageous structural properties ranging from ease of construction and low maintenance to electromagnetic neutrality and 2x tensile strength.
TUF-BAR manufacturers and sells GFRP construction products ideal for applications: rail LRT, bridge overpasses, medical and IT facilities, sea walls, buildings, mining and tunneling, bus stops and runways. Visit our website to learn more about GFRP rebar and other composite construction products or contact us for more information!